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Making headlines for wrong reasons

world Updated: Sep 13, 2012 00:50 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Two requests made by Nepal's foreign ministry grabbed headlines last week. One was to missions of some EU countries based in Kathmandu and the other to President Ram Baran Yadav.

They were made in connection with attempts by these European missions to 'directly approach' Office of the President with regards to an ordinance sent by the Maoist-led government to Yadav.

The foreign ministry was miffed that the missions breached diplomatic decorum by trying to interfere in Nepal's internal matters and also for approaching the President's office directly.

It requested (some reports say warned) the missions to refrain from such attempts. The President's office was also asked not meet representatives of these missions on the issue.

The ordinance in question deals with setting up of a commission for truth and reconciliation and inquiry into disappearances of persons during Nepal's 10-year civil war.

Fearing that it also attempts granting blanket amnesty to perpetrators of serious human rights violations, missions of some EU countries had sought the foreign ministry's approval for a meeting with Yadav with intention of urging him not to endorse the ordinance.

EU missions want the government to set up the commission soon, but with the rider to ensure it meets international standards and not include broad amnesties for serious violations of human rights.

But with the ministry not granting approval, they attempted to approach Yadav directly. The ministry feels the move, if allowed, would have dragged the head of the state into controversy.

Following the ministry's request, the President's office decided not to grant time to the missions for a meeting.

In another unrelated development, embassies of US, France, Germany, Japan, China and Russia are in the news over their 'unwillingness' to allow demolition of part of their premises for the ongoing road widening drive across Kathmandu.

These embassies located in localities that also house official residences of the President and Prime Minister have either sought heavy compensation or protection of their dignity and adequate security before any demolition takes place.

It's worth mentioning that walls of the President's official residence have already been demolished as part of the drive.